ED sheared, carded, spun, and knitted for the last year to make a sweater for Bernard, and here it is:

A back view, and a picture of Talia, who so graciously donated the wool:

Three days of dark, and then on the 25th, the sun begins its slow crawl back up the vault of the sky.


DH brought home a bunch of glass candle holders from Goodwill last week. He thought he had a plan for them, but I was able to talk him out of that silly idea and commandeer them for my own project, which involved a can of Krylon Looking Glass spray paint that I’ve been carrying around for the last couple of weeks, just looking for something to paint. Bernard and I found the glass Christmas tree and the tarnished silver platter at a junk store, and suddenly my project had fallen into place. The pictures aren’t the greatest—my camera really balked at the lighting issues.

Bernard painted her (fake) fingernails last night, and I thought it was very creative and crafty and festive:

In other seasonal news, Ray said this morning’s temperature (22 chilly degrees here) was the coldest we’ll see for the month of December, and that there’s no chance for a white Christmas this year. I’m rejoicing, because to me that means we get a whole month off of winter this year! And after the last two, that sounds just great! So Happy Holidays everybody!

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
—Mary Oliver

It’s a little stinky in here—there are a couple of vats of collards cooking, and they haven’t quite reached the delicious smelling stage. DH and the girls are in bed, and I’m just finishing up a few things, getting ready for friends to stop by tomorrow for a dose of good luck via black-eyed peas and collards.

I just got an email from a friend who is putting together a group Fedco seed order, and I feel impatient and ready to turn my thoughts to spring and the garden. I have the familiar feeling of relief that Christmas is over and now I can get on with my life; we made it through the darkest part of the year, and although there’s plenty of cold ahead, the light is increasing. I’m grateful for friends and family with whom to celebrate the Solstice—it makes the dark so much more bearable!

Happy New Year everyone!

I had no idea the kitchen window was quite this dirty until I looked at this picture!

The snow is shrinking, evidently melting from below. It’s supposed to be 55° this weekend with rain, so I suppose we’ll be rid of it then. It has been pretty, though—all 14+ inches of it!